Google recently agreed to pay a settlement that could end all of the legal fall out from a scheme that was done by the search giant to get around the privacy settings that are on the Safari browser by Apple. This tactic was found by researchers during 2012, which had involved Google tricking users into accepting ad tracking software.
In this settlement, which was filed within the Delaware federal court, Google is going to pay $5.5 million in order to stop a class action lawsuit, but none of the users will see that money. The cash will be going to legal fees, and expenses while the rest will be divided up between privacy groups.
This deal will also give permission to Google to deny any type of fault of the browser hacking, which actually caused a lot of controversy when it was found out as well as raised questions about how much tech companies actually track the online behavior of users.
The hack included a default setting that was on the Safari browser that rejected cookies or the small pieces of software code that tracks websites that someone visits to give them ads. Google managed to get around it by hiding their cookies that gave it a loophole within the Safari settings.
Did Google really hack Safari?
Once this practice was found out, the company first agreed to pay $17 million to the attorney general over privacy violations, and $22.5 million to the FTC or Federal Trade Commission for violating terms of another settlement. It was in this case, the Google denied that they did any wrong doing, which was an outcome that the FTC stating was inexplicable.
The deals effects are that it could end the class action suit, which has been in the courts for years. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently revived pieces of a case that a lower judge dismissed, which lead the parties to ask the Supreme Court to review the appeal.
This settlement actually has to be approved by the judge and this outcome isn’t for certain. Even though judges are quick to end class action suits, some have actually rejected arrangements such as the one that involves Google, where the settlement money is paid to groups instead of users.
Google decided not to comment about the settlement, and the plaintiff lawyers never responded for a comment. The settlement news was received in June, but the news was filed in August.